In today’s world, we are faced with the struggle of navigating our everyday lives while still being politically correct. This is especially true when it comes to gender, as one can never be entirely sure what gender a person is, or whether or not we will be offending them by going based on their physical attributes or personality traits. There have been loads of movements regarding this issue, movements that essentially aim to eliminate the idea of male and female roles, claiming that these ‘constraints’ that come along with being one or the other are simply forced upon us, and not a part of who we are genetically.
Up until recently, there was no real definitive research or data that could prove that there was a true genetic distinction in our brains between males and females. Most research indicated that the differences that often attribute as either feminine or masculine were chalked up as being coerced by societal pressure and environmental surroundings. While this is true, there is more to it– and there is now research that has proven a significant difference in male and female brains as early as 1-month-old.
A paper published in the scientific journal Brain Structure and Function, researchers looked into different functions and aspects of the brains of 143 infants under an MRI scan. The results found significant differences in things like personality traits in parts of the brain that are typically associated with one sex verse another. For example, the results showed that women had larger/deep grey matter in areas of the limbic system, typically associated with psychological traits like caregiving, deep bonding, and being in-tune with their emotions. Whereas, males were found to typically have a larger amygdala, a part of the brain that is responsible for processing fear, a very animalistic function of the brain.
What this research goes to show is that there are indeed factors that differ between men and women over time depending on their environment, but even more so, we have sex-related differences inside our brains from our earliest ages. More research into this subject could bridge the gap between fallacies and reality.
A Millennial’s Perspective
This is something that I myself have never had the resources or data to prove, but have always known and understood. While I do understand the argument that girls and boys are influenced to be a certain way by the society they are brought up in, I also understand that our hormones, chemical makeup, and brain functions are made different. Meaning, men have strengths that the average woman doesn’t, and women have strengths that the average man doesn’t.
To say that girls only are the way that they are because they are forced to be by the constraints of society is frankly irresponsible. If we were to find more research that dives into the genetic differences between men and women brain function (that isn’t affected by outside influences) so that we can provide more sex-specific mental health to improve human life. There is no real science that can prove that a child is born the wrong gender, but there is science that proves the opposite. I can’t say that I understand what it feels like to be ‘assigned the wrong gender at birth,’ but I do understand what it’s like to be different.
Growing up, I always participated in ‘boys’ activities like fighting, playing in the mud, sports, etc., yet I understand that I am a woman with strengths that men don’t have as well as weaknesses in comparison to men. Trying to make everybody the same only takes away from each person’s unique qualities. Everybody has a strength and a weakness to balance– trying to blend everyone into some huge mixing pot of confusion and ‘political correctness’ is only harmful to ourselves.
What’s the Media Saying?
There are, of course, opposers to this research, attempting to find the faults or discrepancies within it:
And? The significance of those differences may or may not matter.
I can find differences between two male brains also. And?
— #Bluewavefront (@ResistanceGold1) January 12, 2018
Others are showing their sarcasm towards the typical liberal arguments:
— Thomas Richardson (@RichieEvPsych) January 6, 2018
Do you think that gender is something simply ‘assigned’ at birth and has no significant value when it comes to development? Will this research lead to more information regarding genetic personality differences between male and female babies? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!